How Screen Time Impacts Your Vision
Do you feel like you’re constantly switching from looking at one device to another? You’re not alone.
Whether it’s a laptop, phone, or television, most of our day revolves around some sort of screen. The sudden shift to remote work due to COVID-19 has left more Americans stuck behind their screens than ever before. Maintaining eye health in a digital age is difficult, but it’s important to think about the negative effects screen time could be having on your eyes.
What is Blue Light?
When it comes to screens, the term “blue light'' has become very popular. It’s time to understand what blue light actually is.
On the electromagnetic spectrum, light waves vary in length and visibility. A majority of the light waves, like X-Rays and microwaves, are invisible to the human eye. However, there are some light waves on the electromagnetic spectrum that are visible. Blue light happens to be one of the visible light waves.
Blue light waves are almost as powerful as the UV rays produced by the sun. The eyes are naturally equipped to help protect us from harmful UV rays, however, our eyes do not protect us from blue light, especially not at the current rate we absorb it. To learn more about the additional precautions we should be taking to protect our eyes from sun damage, check out our blog.
Most, if not all, of our devices, emit blue light due to the LED technology used to create them. Staring at screens for too long leads to overexposure to blue light, which can have a negative impact on eye health overall.
Negative Effects of Screen Time
- Eye Strain - Overexposure to blue light can lead to eye fatigue. You may experience eye redness, dryness, and twitching.
- Retinal Damage - Blue light can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina. Damage to these cells can result in the premature development of macular degeneration.
- Nearsightedness - Medically referred to as myopia, nearsightedness is a potential effect of too much screen time.
- Loss of Eye Focus - Excessive screen time can make it difficult for the muscles in the eye to focus properly.
- Blue Light Glasses - As previously mentioned, your eyes do not naturally block the blue light emitted from electronic screens. Protect your eyes by wearing blue light glasses.
- Set a Daily Limit - Set a timer to remind yourself to take a break from looking at screens. Do something enjoyable like walking, reading, or working out.
- Don’t Sit Too Close - Keep an arm’s distance between your eyes and any screens to avoid eye strain.
- Take Breaks - To keep your eyes healthy, it’s important to take a break from looking at screens. Wang Vision Insituitue’s Dr. Frenkel recommends the 20-20-20 rule. This rule suggests that every 20 minutes you should take a 20-second break to look at an object 20 feet in front of you. Visit our Instagram page for more tips from Dr. Frenkel.
To keep your eyes at their best, schedule a consultation with Wang Vision today!